John Eliot Gardiner presents 12-hour Bach marathon

Conductor leads Easter Monday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall

John Eliot Gardiner

Sir John Eliot Gardiner is to present a 12-hour marathon of JS Bach’s music at the Royal Albert Hall on Easter Monday (1 April).


Gardiner – who will be celebrating his 70th birthday just weeks afterwards – will himself begin and end the marathon conducting performances of the St John Passion and the B Minor Mass from the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists.

Other artists performing in the day-long celebration include violinist Viktoria Mullova, who will be performing Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin, cellist Alban Gerhardt, organist Cameron Carpenter and the Britten Sinfonia.

‘Some of the milestones in my life seem to be associated with the music of JS Bach and 2013 is no exception,’ said Gardiner. ‘To spend an entire day in the company of fellow musicians, writers and scientists to perform and discuss the music of this supreme composer whose music lights our lives more than 300 years after his death is the best birthday present I could hope for.’

The marathon will take in 12 events including discussions, solo recitals and a chance for the audience to learn part of the composer’s Easter Chorale.

The Bach Marathon will be broadcast on Radio 3. John Eliot Gardiner will also be presenting a programme on Bach that is due to be broadcast on BBC Two in March 2013.

The final installment of Gardiner’s Bach Cantatas series – the Ascension Cantatas – will also be released in March next year.


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